Novartis has launched a new antimalarial formulation of Coartem® 80/480 (artemether/lumefantrine 80 mg/480 mg), for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in adults and older children, designed to reduce number of tablets taken per dose.
Created in a bid to enhance patient compliance, the full course of treatment for malaria has been reduced from 24 tablets to six tablets translating into a 75% reduction in pill burden.
Kenya is the third African country to get the new brand after Nigeria and Angola, others are Uganda and Ghana.
According to Dr. Nathan Mulure, the Novartis Medical Manager for Africa, Malaria is highly preventable and curable, yet it is still one of the most deadly diseases in developing countries.
“Novartis reaffirms its strong commitment to the fight against malaria. This achievement is a truly remarkable milestone contributing to treating many patients and help in the reduction of disease burden. The fewer tablets offer a convenient solution for busy lives.
“The launch of Coartem® 80/480 in Kenya marks another milestone in the fight against Malaria, and will benefit patients with a convenient and high quality treatment for malaria,” he said. The Coartem 80/480 was first registered in Switzerland by a stringent health authority, the Swiss Medic.
Novartis pioneered the launch of a fixed-dose ACT, and ten years later, in 2009, the first dispersible ACT was tailored to meet the needs of children who are the most vulnerable to malaria.
“Through a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001, we were the first company in the healthcare industry to commit to the supply of antimalarial treatments to the public sector in endemic countries without profit”, added Dr Nathan Mulure. Since 2006, Kenya has received over 75 million treatments of Coartem. Kenya is thus one of the largest recipients of Coartem.
Each year there are more than one million malaria-related deaths around the world. Nine out of ten malaria deaths occur in sub Saharan Africa, and the vast majority of malaria-related deaths occur in children. In Africa alone, a child dies every 60 seconds from malaria.
As part of its ongoing commitment to patients and health workers, Novartis also provides malaria case management educational programs, which include hands-on training for local healthcare workers, customized training manuals, and user-friendly packaging to ensure that Coartem and Coartem Dispersible are properly used and to improve patient compliance.